all 63 comments

[–]Terfenclaw 99 insightful - 2 fun99 insightful - 1 fun100 insightful - 2 fun -  (33 children)

It was stolen/appropriated from the intersex community.

[–]lefterfield 22 insightful - 4 fun22 insightful - 3 fun23 insightful - 4 fun -  (32 children)

Yeah, though even for intersex people it doesn't seem accurate. It's not as if the doctor is guessing at whether they're male or female(and for most of them it's still obvious) - they evaluate the evidence and come to the best available answer.

[–]Lyssa 42 insightful - 2 fun42 insightful - 1 fun43 insightful - 2 fun -  (31 children)

Well, not exactly... In a lot of cases doctors know that their answer is inaccurate/incomplete but are forced to record it anyway because "intersex" or "indetermined" is not an option. Actually, intersex people are the only ones "assigned" anything.

[–]valleyoftherogue 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (23 children)

DNA is the final arbiter. If there is a "Y" chromosome, that baby is male. No ambiguity about it.

[–]Lyssa 21 insightful - 2 fun21 insightful - 1 fun22 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Has your DNA been observed in the delivery room? Mine hasn't. We indeed do know the chromosomes of my daughter thanks to modern pre-natal screening but that still is not the case for most births. A baby with CAIS has XY chromosomes but female genitalia.

I have recently learned here from another poster that most intersex conditions are apparent for medical professionals but some are not.

In any case: Why should I or anybody decide in those rare cases over the heads of those affected what the "final arbiter" is? And btw: for biologists it would be gonads. Not chromosomes.

[–]Spikygrasspod 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Mmm, but if there's something like CAIS, where the body develops under the influence of female hormones, that person will look female, and possibly have female genitalia, so it might be practical and humane to assign them the legal sex of female. In a world where we treat people as male or female, parents have to make the best decision about how to raise their child, what to tell people, etc. I think that's what assigned means here.

[–]lefterfield 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

Yes, I know they're the only ones assigned anything. But calling it an assignment is still inaccurate in most cases. In some areas of the world it's still true that medical technology is such that doctors have to make an informed guess - but with modern tests, it would be very unusual for an intersex child not to be clearly identified as one sex or the other.

[–]Anna_Nym 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

My understanding is that the "assigned at birth" phrase was used in intersex advocacy to refer to cases where the intersex condition caused development of ambiguous genitalia, and the doctor operated on the baby to normalize the body. It was literal.

[–]lefterfield 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

No, that's not my understanding of it all. It's a term used in cases of intersex babies, when it is genuinely ambiguous what the external genitalia indicate about sex. Surgery may or may not happen(and shouldn't happen, regardless).

[–]Anna_Nym 7 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

I tried to track down the history of the term to fact check my memory, but there was too much noise because of stuff like this: "Children who are intersex are assigned female or male based on what medical professionals anticipate their gender identity will be. Oftentimes, intersex children are subjected to surgical operations to change their anatomy to fit their assigned sex. "

Did the person who wrote that really think doctors are out there trying to guess at the gender identity of the intersex baby?

[–]lefterfield 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Quite likely, and very sad.

[–]DifferentAirGC 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That's what I believe too.

[–]Yubin 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Intersex is just 0.001% of the population. It is incredibly rare.

[–]Binah17 25 insightful - 7 fun25 insightful - 6 fun26 insightful - 7 fun -  (2 children)

A misognist TIM was going off on twitter and said that cis women had privlege because of the vagina we received at birth. Whatever you need to tell yourself my guy.

[–]Spikygrasspod 17 insightful - 4 fun17 insightful - 3 fun18 insightful - 4 fun -  (1 child)

Wowwwww that's a really loose, inaccurate and terrifying definition of privilege that I think translates roughly as 'I want what you have, it's not fair, this is your fault'

[–]Lyssa 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Spot on.

[–]Lyssa 23 insightful - 3 fun23 insightful - 2 fun24 insightful - 3 fun -  (3 children)

Right! And this is were they lost me first. I was (and mostly am) still fine with pronouns. But when the "assigned at birth" lingo started the lunacy began to dawn on me.

As if doctors and midwives threw dices and "assigned" things in the delivery room completely arbitrary and for shits and giggles. No, they look at a baby and write down what they see (save for rare intersex conditions). No "assigning" taking place whatsoever.

[–]kardamom 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

write down what they see (save for rare intersex conditions). No "assigning" taking place whatsoever.

you do see the irony in that, right?

[–]Lyssa 25 insightful - 1 fun25 insightful - 0 fun26 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No, honestly not. And intersex organizations have been pretty clear, that they don't want their conditions being cited as the equivalent of a clear biological male or femal (99.98% of the population) feeling gender dysphoria.

How about backing off of people who until recently have been subjected to irreversible forced medical interventions in infancy and childhood to justify partially irreversible elective medical interventions later in childhood where "informed choice" is a very shaky ground?

No healthy functional body of an underaged person should be medically turned into a body forever reliant on artifical hormons, other drugs and in some cases repeat surgery with immense side effects.

That the intersex community who fights for children being left alone as they are is instrumentalized for (mal)practices rendering children infertile, possibly unorgasmic and depending on big pharma for life - now that is truely ironic.

[–]Anna_Nym 14 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 0 fun15 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Where is the irony? Are you trying to say that recording sex is synonymous with assigning sex? Or that the existence of rare health conditions means that the normative experience doesn't exist?

In modern medicine, no "assigning" takes places in terms of intersex conditions either. Doctors do observe the physical features of the baby's body to ultimately conclude on the correct sex and medical diagnosis. There are more steps involved, but it's still observation.

Intersex advocacy, in part, exists because doctors have performed medical operations on babies to assign them a sex. That is what the phrase "assigning" means. It is an actual action.

[–]sisterinsomnia 16 insightful - 2 fun16 insightful - 1 fun17 insightful - 2 fun -  (2 children)

Slightly off the topic, but pay attention to what has happened to language, who now have the power of naming and which demographic group is being erased.

The 'assigned at birth' is just part of all those changes, such as 'woman' is now nothing more but a feeling inside one's head, perhaps to do with liking pink and sparkles, 'biological sex' is now complicated, perhaps a spectrum, perhaps socially constructed, equality of the sexes has been replaced by the equality of all sorts of neo-genders, all based on nothing but feelings in the head, 'gay' and 'Lesbian' are now problematic words as sexual orientation is replaced with preferences for certain gender expressions, and so on.

The way 'inclusiveness' (from queer theory) has invaded feminism is the same as others demanding that we keep our houses unlocked, invite everyone in, and never complain when they trash the house and steal our own identities and rights. But now not being inclusive enough is bigotry...

[–]our_team_is_winning 13 insightful - 3 fun13 insightful - 2 fun14 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

'woman' is now nothing more but a feeling inside one's head

Excellent summary you gave of the current insanity. I can't believe we moved from the word "gender" usually being used by people who felt uncomfortable saying the word "sex," like on forms you had to fill out (to stop people from writing "yes please" right?) to THIS level of insanity.

Seriously the insanity of it. I woke up today and did NOT "feel" like a woman. I just felt like a person. Am I NB today? Yesterday I was writing a male character's POV in a story -- did I feel male? The other day I just wanted to curl up and sleep like a cat. Am I interspecies? Can they make some hormone treatments that would only last 24 hours, so I can keep switching around depending how I feel? I wonder if I could float the term "Multigendered, multispecied, MGMS"? I often feel like a little kid again. Can I get my birth certificate changed to show that I am forever 8? Like they could keep issuing me a new one and updating the year of birth? In all honesty, I DO know what it feels like to be 8 because I did it for a whole year once. OMG I'm panicking now because I don't remember what woman "feels like"! Gonna switchover to a TWAW forum for tips.

[–]Spikygrasspod 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It's super scary when they're stealing the very language and concepts we need in order to talk about the theft.

[–]wicklesnarf 11 insightful - 8 fun11 insightful - 7 fun12 insightful - 8 fun -  (0 children)

I like to counter with "assigned [sex] at conception". You're right it's super weird to put it on doctors instead of the sperm cell

[–]nonpenishaver 10 insightful - 3 fun10 insightful - 2 fun11 insightful - 3 fun -  (2 children)

What's funny about that phrase is that when it's applied to non-intersex people, it means essentially the exact same thing as "born female" or "born male".

All people who are "assigned male at birth" and are not intersex have something in common physically.. Wonder what it could be 🤔 All people who are not intersex and "assigned female at birth" have something in common.

The phrase still groups people together based on anatomy, the exact same way simply saying "male or female" does. It's literally just a more bullshitty way to say the exact same thing.

[–]moody_ape 8 insightful - 2 fun8 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

it's basically saying male or female with extra words.

[–]Spikygrasspod 7 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Right? They just want to make natal sex seem arbitrary, like a mistake, so that their chosen sex has more weight.

[–]ravenclaww 8 insightful - 6 fun8 insightful - 5 fun9 insightful - 6 fun -  (0 children)

Exactly. Just like how I wasn't assigned as having brown eyes at the hospital, I wasn't assigned female at birth either. My friend is pregnant with a boy, but the baby won't be born until next month. How does she know her firstborn will be a son if the doctors haven't assigned a sex yet???

[–]Anna_Nym 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't think the "assigned at birth" language would ever have been normalized pre-Twitter. It's appropriated language that is obviously incoherent.

It also has the flaw that it neatly created a trans activism-compatible way to talk about women as a sexed identity without using the verbotten word women. I've seen occasional posts from TRAs that are trying to stigmatize discussion of AFAB issues as transphobic to try and close that accidentally created loophole. I assume it was successful as I see far more of the "people with..." language than AFAB.

[–]jkfinn 8 insightful - 4 fun8 insightful - 3 fun9 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

It seems that often "assigned" is used with roles as in a grade school play, and similar to being assigned a desk or a composition. And I now get the impression that "assigned at birth" is used among this age group as something that can serve their rebel or ego instincts, as in refusing a an "assigned sex" is like refusing a role in a play or a seat too close to the window.

[–]RadioSilence 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

We need to ensure that we never use this ridiculous language. It's the least we can do.

[–]StratoBastard 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Stupid on multiple levels. Baby’s sex is visible in utero, after a certain point in development. Baby’s sex develops from the genetic blueprint which is furnished from parental gametes, it isn’t fucking “assigned” by a committee of doctors at birth ffs. Woke language is utterly fucking stupid.

[–]MarkTwainiac 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Fetal sex is determined at conception - so the acronyms should be DFAC/DMAC... And nowadays fetal sex can also easily be ascertained at 8-9 weeks with NIPT, a pretty inexpensive form of genetic testing using the mother's blood drawn from her arm in the customary way. Which is well before the genitals would be developed enough to appear on a scan.

Fetal sex can also be ascertained at 8 weeks through CVS, a more costly and invasive procedure that's been in use for 30+ years. CVS involves a the mother getting a vaginal exam in which a needle/tube is inserted through the cervix and a piece of the placenta containing chorionic villi is taken, then sent to a genetics lab for analysis.

Later on in pregnancy, from 14-15 weeks, fetal sex prior to the era of the NPT could be ascertained through genetic testing of amnio fluid known as amniocentesis. Amniocentesis was first invented in the 1950s, and widely used from the 1960s-70s on in cases where genetic testing was recommended due to factors such as a history of genetic diseases in the mother and father's families and the mother being over 35.

[–]Spikygrasspod 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Determined female at conception sounds like a useful term, but could we shorten it a bit? I think we could take out three quarters of the words and have it mean the same thing :P

[–]LasagnaRossa 5 insightful - 5 fun5 insightful - 4 fun6 insightful - 5 fun -  (4 children)

Imagine if it happened with other body parts too.

Assigned hands equipped at birth. Assigned feet equipped at birth. Assigned head equipped at birth. LOL

"My doctors assigned me armed equipped at birth, but I've always known I was armless inside. They never asked me if I felt arm-equipped! Now I identify phocomelic, my only true self".

[–]Spikygrasspod 6 insightful - 4 fun6 insightful - 3 fun7 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

I was wrongfully mis-assigned the wrong height at puberty.

[–]our_team_is_winning 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

There actually are very rare people out there who want their hands amputated. Body Integrity Identity Disorder. This man wanted a leg amputated:

[–]moody_ape 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

AFAB and AMAB have been completely appropriated by TRAs. I've seen an interview with Claire Graham, hosted by Ben from GNC Centric, where she explains about how this assigning works. She is intersex, so she knows the drill. Say a baby is born with a very small penis. That's obviously a boy, but doctors perform surgery to remove the penis and this baby ends up being raised s a girl. Puberty hits and shows there is something wrong and there you have it: another intersex person finds out the truth and is horrified at the violence they have suffered. She also says that no one looks at a baby's insides to check their gonads when they are born, so a girl with a big clitoris might be AMAB. In this case there is no surgery. It's really a complicated topic and I'm glad I've found Claire's interview on GNC Centric to educate myself about this. I have also seen another interview with her on the Benjamin Boyce channel where she tells a lot about the subject. It's all very informative.

[–][deleted] 4 insightful - 4 fun4 insightful - 3 fun5 insightful - 4 fun -  (1 child)

I was assigned pianist at birth because I had long fingers, and so people said I'd become a pianist. Jokes on them because I'm a guitar player.

[–]kwallio 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

This is kind of amusing to me because I have large hands (a family trait) and my mom wanted me to be a piano player but I have no musical ability whatsoever. And I hated piano!

[–]itsnotaboutewe 2 insightful - 4 fun2 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 4 fun -  (0 children)

Are the doctors who are assigning sex at birth the same bastards assigning disabilities to these babies?